Match Report


Blue Square Premier match
played on Saturday, 23 August 2008, at 3pm.


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    It was referee Simpson from Middlesex who determined the outcome of this game by adjudging Chris Lane to have deliberately handled the ball on the line after 33 minutes, when the defender had been hit on the body from point blank range by a Harriers shot. When Richards converted the resulting penalty to put the home side 2-0 up it was all over for Alty. The home side had gone ahead after 6 minutes when Doughty conceded a freekick on the Harriers' right. Alty failed dismally to defend it and Creighton headed home unopposed. But until the Lane sending-off, Harriers had not looked liked world beaters. With three substitutions, ten-men Alty made a game of it in the second half but when Brittain made it 3-0 after 70 minutes there was no way back and Smikle added a fourth in closing stages.


    Alty had not enjoyed any success at Aggborough on recent visits but they arrived this time occupying a higher league position than their hosts, having taken 4 points from 3 games and occupying tenth place in the BSP. Kidderminster, for their part, had yet to win this season, taking just one point from their opening three games.


  • 6 mins: Mark CREIGHTON (Kidderminster Harriers 1 Altrincham 0)
  • 33 mins: Justin RICHARDS (penalty) (Kidderminster Harriers 2 Altrincham 0)
  • 70 mins: Martin BRITTAIN (Kidderminster Harriers 3 Altrincham 0)
  • 85 mins: Brian SMIKLE (Kidderminster Harriers 4 Altrincham 0)

    REFEREE: Mr J Simpson (Middlesex)

    ATTENDANCE: 1,335


    Altrincham included Little and Johnson despite both being reported as doubtful before kick-off but neither lasted the ninety minutes. Warren Peyton came into the side after making an impression from the bench last time out, whilst Anthony Danylyk made his full debut in central midfield in place of Kevin street.

    Kidderminster's new signing Keith Lowe played at right back but their longest serving player Simon Russell had just left for York City.


    KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS (Red and white halved shirts, white shorts and red socks): 1. Adam BARTLETT, 21. Keith LOWE, 5. Mark CREIGHTON (capt), 6. Luke JONES, 3. Lee BAKER, 16. Martin BRITTAIN, 10. Russell PENN, 17. David McDERMOTT; 9. Matthew BARNES-HOMER, 11. Justin RICHARDS. Subs: 8. Darryl KNIGHTS, 12. Dean COLEMAN (gk), 14. Brian SMIKLE, 15. Michael McGRATH, 20. Dean BENNETT.

    ALTRINCHAM (All yellow): 1. Stuart COBURN; 15. Chris LANE, 4.Mark McGREGOR, 5. Greg YOUNG, 3. Matt DOUGHTY; 10. Chris DENHAM, 7. Robbie LAWTON, 16. Anthony DANYLYK, 11. Warren PEYTON; 9. Colin LITTLE, 14. Dale JOHNSON. Subs: 12. Joe O'NEILL, 13. Andy RALPH, 15. Alex MEECHAN, 18. Lee ELAM, 19. Chris SENIOR.


    Right: Alty's Young, McGregor, Doughty and Lawton watch Kidderminster Harriers' Barnes-Homer try to reach an aerial ball.

    On a pitch heavily watered before kick-off on the instructions of home boss, Mark Yates, Kidderminster kicked off towards the away end. The Harriers made a jittery start as they sought their first win of the season but their nerves were settled when Alty gifted them the lead in the sixth minute. Doughty was beaten by Brittain and conceded a free kick as a consequence by hauling the player down. From the freekick, about 20 yards from goal, wide on the Alty left defender Creighton was allowed to have a free header and scored comfortably from the centre of the box.

    Alty responded quickly as Denham drifted in from the right only to be upended, but from 22 yards, Peyton drove the freekick into the wall (9 mins). A long punt from Coburn then almost landed at Little's feet but just ran onto Bartlett, Kidderminster's ex-Blyth Spartans goalkeeper (13 mins). But Alty did win a corner moments later, following a Doughty freekick.

    Referee Simpson then bizarrely stopped play for no apparent reason before getting the bemused players to re-start with a bounce-up. For Alty, Danylyk was having a good debut in central midfield but, up front, Alty were making little impression. Next, a fine tackle by Doughty stopped a Harriers' attack and then the Alty left-back made an even more vital block in the Alty box as Richards threatened to score from six yards (18 mins). Barnes-Homer went close after getting past Young (20 mins) and when Richards failed to convert Barnes-Homer's low cross, Alty had survived three threats in as many minutes.

    Kiddy had their worries when Bartlett firstly had to smother the ball at Little's feet and, then dropped a cross. Next, Little was caught just offside as the home crowd went quiet. The turning point of the game arrived in the 32nd minute when Coburn blocked a shot brilliantly and then the follow-up was driven hard, from just a few feet out, against Lane's body, on the goal-line, just inside the upright to Coburn's right. Mr Simpson somehow interpreted this both as handball, which it was not, and as deliberate. Lane, who was equally harshly dismissed in the same circumstances last season against Millwall kicked the upright in frustration as a penalty was given and the red card produced. At a stroke, the referee had confirmed the game's outcome. Richards duly hit the penalty high into the net, to Coburn's left, leaving Altrincham two goals and one man down. But the home crowd remained strangely mute as the Alty fans quickly pointed out to them with their chants.

    Kidderminster now won a corner and, soon afterwards, Coburn made a great block from Barnes-Homer (42 mins). Little then lobbed the ball into the net superbly but had been given offside (45 mins). So half-time arrived with Alty in a difficult position.


    For the second half Alty started with three at the back; McGregor, Young and Peyton and soon had a scare when Lawton pulled up injured but he soon recovered. Jones was then booked for deliberate handball before Alty won a corner which Young headed over the bar (51 mins). Colin Little was now playing on the right wing as Denham joined Johnson up front.

    Barnes-Homer fired narrowly wide from right of goal before Denham was cynically taken out by Creighton who was rightly booked (54 mins). 10-man Alty were trying to make a game of it as Lawton shot just wide following Johnson's blocked shot (55 mins). Still admirably supported by their 125 travelling supporters, Altrincham battled on but it took a fine save from Stuart Coburn to beat out a shot from Kidderminster before the rebound was driven fiercely against the upright by the lively winger, McDermott (58 mins). Alty had another let off as Barnes Holmer got one-on-one against Coburn but the big striker missed badly, his effort rippling the side netting (59 mins).

    Alty captain Robbie Lawton then made a very late and wild challenge on Penn in midfield and was duly booked on the hour mark. And, soon afterwards, Doughty almost scored an own goal as he stretched to divert a cross, but Coburn made a good save from his own left-back. With Alty getting the run around, the management made a triple substitution to stem the flow. On came Chris Senior, Alex Meechan and Joe O'Neill to replace Chris Denham, Colin Little and Dale Johnson (64 mins). Senior's first involvement saw him booked for a late challenge on Brittain near the half-way line (65 mins). Then Meechan's first involvement led to a penalty appeal by Kidderminster which was not heeded by the referee. Play was now end to end as O'Neill crossed the ball in front of the Harriers' goal, but no one was on hand to convert it. When Creighton, not for the first time, used both his arms and blatantly pulled O'Neill to the ground, the referee conveniently failed to spot any wrong-doing by the already booked centre-half. With Alty now giving as good as they got, their endeavour was undone by a third Kidderminster goal in the seventieth minute. This arose when Young lost possession and after several passes the ball was worked from the left for a shot which hit McGregor, only to fall to Brittain who scored with a fine shot from 20 yards (700 mins).

    Kidderminster now made a double change as Knights and Smikle replaced Barnes-Homer and the recent goalscorer, Brittain (71 mins). After this, another foul by Creighton on Senior gave Alty a promising freekick from which a corner followed. For Alty O'Neill continued to work hard and, after he had been felled by Baker, a corner resulted. However, Kidderminster were dangerous at the other end and it took another fine save from Coburn to block Knights's effort. McGrath now came on for McDermott for the hosts (81 mins). A minute later Richards fired narrowly wide from 20 yards but the Harriers made it 4-0 in the 85th minute when Penn's well judged ball forward up the Harriers' right went over Peyton and left Smikle clear to the right of goal. He superbly chipped the advancing Coburn from a wide angle (85 mins). The final stages saw Kidderminster pressing forward despite Alty having bolstered their defence by moving Lawton to right-back and though they won an 88th minute corner they could not add to their tally. Indeed, it was Alty who went close as the 90th minute ended when Senior burst past a challenge into the box but fired wide. The home crowd curiously started leaving the ground in droves before the final whistle but they missed little as their team ran out 4-0 winners.

    Whilst Altrincham, had they retained 11 men, might have come back from their poor start to take something from this game it was the sending off of Lane and the awarding of a converted penalty which confirmed that they would not do so. The visitors can take some consolation in a good debut from Danylyk, good keeping from Coburn and a lively performance from Senior once he came on but they were disappointing in the final third especially. But with a Wrexham team which has rested since last Thursday their next opponents just 43 hours after the end of this match, Altrincham will have to raise themselves for Monday lunchtime's clash at Moss Lane.